- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 19, 2013

JPMorgan Chase has reached a tentative $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department regarding several mortgage issues, various media reports said Saturday.

The settlement was reached Friday night in a call involving Attorney General Eric Holder and JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, a source familiar with the negotiations said, Politico reported.

The settlement does not include any release from criminal liability for the bank, a source said, Reuters reported.

JPMorgan Chase at first was discussing an $11 billion settlement to the Justice Department over mortgage-backed securities, The Associated Press reported.

Earlier this week, JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay a $100 million penalty and admitted that its traders acted “recklessly” during a series of London trades that ultimately cost the bank $6 billion, AP said. That settlement was announced Wednesday by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The bank agreed last month to pay $920 million and admit fault in a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other U.S. and British regulators, AP reported.

A JPMorgan Chase spokesman declined to comment, Politico reported.

JPMorgan Chase posted a loss in the third quarter.

On Oct. 11, Mr. Dimon said of the third-quarter loss, according to the bank’s website: “While we had strong underlying performance across the businesses, unfortunately, the quarter was marred by large legal expense. We continuously evaluate our legal reserves, but in this highly charged and unpredictable environment, with escalating demands and penalties from multiple government agencies, we thought it was prudent to significantly strengthen them. While we expect our litigation costs should abate and normalize over time, they may continue to be volatile over the next several quarters.”

In that same prepared statement at the time, the CEO said: “The Board continues to seek a fair and reasonable settlement with the government on mortgage-related issues — and one that recognizes the extraordinary circumstances of the Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual transactions, which were undertaken at the request or encouragement of the U.S. government.”

The settlement, which isn’t yet finalized, may be announced next week, Bloomberg.com reported.

• Maria Stainer can be reached at mstainer@washingtontimes.com.

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